Matt Le Tissier believes Jose Mourinho is “destroying” Luke Shaw and a summer exit from Manchester United looks inevitable for the left-back.
Mourinho hauled the 22-year-old off at half-time in Saturday’s FA Cup win over Brighton and, not for the first time this season, publicly criticised some of his players’ personality after the 2-0 victory.
Le Tissier suggests Mourinho might be bitter because Shaw chose to join United rather than his Chelsea side back in 2014, when he departed Southampton for a then world-record fee, in excess of £30m, for a teenager.
Le Tissier told Sky Sports: “I think if Mourinho is still there then it is inevitable Shaw will leave this summer. I have no idea what he is trying to achieve.
“There is just a really strange relationship going on there and I don’t understand what he’s doing because he’s just destroying the player at the moment.
“I’m not sure if it was anything to do with him choosing Manchester United over Chelsea despite being a Chelsea fan when Mourinho was manager at the time.
“You also don’t know what happens at training or how he lives his life to give an accurate assessment but, while there are players that this sort of approach can work with, I just don’t think Shaw is one of them.”
The Soccer Saturday pundit does, however, acknowledge questions over Shaw‘s character stem back to his time at Southampton, while suggesting his form has not reached the same level since suffering a broken leg in 2015.
“I remember him getting subbed quite a bit at Southampton and there was a perception that he didn’t take a knock very well and was a little bit on the soft side,” he added.
“The injury is a big thing and he does seem a bit mentally fragile but, be it due to the injury or not, as a manager you’ve got to find a way to get the best out of him and I don’t think Mourinho has done that.
“It is such a shame because he was such a talent at such a young age and the injury has set him back. As an attacking full-back, the boy had so much going for him.
“He’s shown enough potential to be England‘s first choice left-back but it has been a long time since he’s reached those heights, so he’s got a lot of work to do in terms of getting games and being talked about at international level again.
“He’s not going to do that at United so the only way is finding a new club. I’d be very surprised to see him getting in the England World Cup squad and it says it all that Mourinho sees a right-winger turned left-back in Ashley Young as more valuable.”
The Southampton legend suggests linking up with his former manager Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham is the most likely next step, but does not see him returning to St Mary’s.
He said: “Having worked with Pochettino before and spoken highly of him, it would seem obvious for him to go to Tottenham with Danny Rose potentially going the opposite way as he is obviously desperate to get back up north.
“I don’t think Southampton could compete in the wages department and the player would probably look at it as a backward move, so he would probably think he is worthy of playing for a club competing for the Premier League title.”